Don’t use a vague greeting
Using this impersonal phrase appears lazy, as though you are unfamiliar with the company. Instead, open the letter by addressing a single person—ideally, the person who is interviewing and hiring for the position. If you don’t know who that will be, don’t be afraid to call the company and ask for a name. Anything is better than the outdated “Dear Sir or Madam.” Learn the only time you should use “To Whom It May Concern.”
Don’t tout experience you don’t have
If you are a new grad looking for your first job, claiming that you have “extensive experience” will be an immediate red flag for hiring managers. It is unlikely that anyone has truly extensive experience right after college; more likely, they are trying to buff up their abilities to appear more impressive. Instead, providing illustrations and examples of your own abilities will make your cover letter unique. But make sure to keep it short and sweet; nothing is worse than paragraphs and paragraphs of clunky examples, especially when they’re already covered in the resume. Here are some other common mistakes first-time job hunters make.